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Down The ‘Gate (ITV Sitcom, Reg Varney, Dilys Laye)

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Down The 'Gate ITV Sitcom Reg Varney

ITV Sitcom Down The ‘Gate was created by star Reg Varney who played Reg Funnell who worked at Billingsgate Fish Market in London. This was something of an attempt for Varney to follow up the huge success of On The Buses but although it ran to two seasons it didn’t catch on.

There was a three page feature on the show in the TV Times (19 Jul 1975) for the week of it’s premiere with Reg talking about he had to perfect the “Billingsgate Glide” a special backwards leaning walk that the fish carrying porters would use as they walked with boxes of fresh fish on their heads. Varney got the idea for the series after spending an evening in a Billingsgate pub being regaled with stories by fish porters. Writers Maurice Sellar and Roy Tuvey then developed the series.

Billingsgate itself is considered one of the world’s premiere fish markets, there has been a fish market on the site for well over a thousand years.

Cast: Reg Varney as Reg Furnell; Dilys Laye as Irene Furnell; Reg Lye as Old Wol; Tony Melody as Len Peacock (Season 1); Percy Herbert as Mr Preston (Season 2)

Creator: Reg Varney / Writers: Maurice Sellars, Roy Turvey / Producer: William G. Stewart

UK / ITV – ATV / 12×30 minute episodes / 1975-76 / Season One: 23 July 1975 – 29 August 1976